Born: Adelaide, SA
LANGUAGE GROUP: Gurindji
COMMUNITY: Katherine, NT
Sarrita King is the most collected artist at Kate Owen Gallery and for good reason. Her paintings are highly sophisticated works of beauty. She is always pushing her boundaries and extending her repertoire, creating an artistic oeuvre that is quite remarkable for an artist of her age. Sarrita's aesthetic has a universal appeal, made clear by the phenomenal interest in her work by international collectors.
Sarrita grew up in a family that encouraged creativity and nurtured family connections. Her father was esteemed artist William King Jungala (1966 - 2007), and to this day Sarrita and her equally talented sister, Tarisse King, draw on his knowledge, traditions and philosophies in their art. Her father was also a proud Gurindji man, and Sarrita and her sister also have a strong sense of self and pride in their heritage.
Sarrita's connection to her Aboriginality and subsequently to the land and people, was able to flourish as she grew up in Darwin. Her ancestral Gurindji land was close by and from a young age she was exposed to the imperious weather and extreme landscapes that shaped her forefather's lives. In particular, the big storms, rains and lightning in the far horizion fascinated Sarrita, and was the subject of her first paintings.
Her 'Lightning' series captured the attention of art dealers and before long she was represented by galleries across Australia. Her Gurindji Country continued to be the theme of her art, and Sarrita's early works wove her own styles with that of her father. They are a fascinating interplay of colour, design, heritage and spirit.
In the years that have followed, Sarrita's desire to visually communicate her inspiration and the land has resulted in a suite of painting series that honour her father's philosophies, while providing a visual articulation of the earth's language.
Her representations of landscape are fresh in their depiction of the subject. The lack of horizion takes viewers inside the image, where the subtlety of surfaces, and the shapes and iconography awaken the senses.
Multiple layers in each canvas pulsate with the moods of the country, with the sense of time-worn existence and with the strength of human passion within. She creates fantastic energy on the canvas but there is also a strong rhythm in all her work that is determined and controlled
The 'Ancestors Dry Season' paintings are intricate layers of rich reds, oranges, yellows and ochres to represent the landscape during the intense dry season. During these periods the land is so dry, old landmarks and features are revealed.
The 'Ancestors Wet Season' paintings are painted in cool blues, violets, mauves and white to represent the landscape during the wet season. During these periods the landscape changes drastically with water pooling in parts of the landscape, replenishing the land which is vital to the survival of the Gurindji community.
In a new series titled 'Earth Elements', Sarrita represents the elements and their interaction with the landscape. There is a refined ethereal beauty to these paintings. Her new 'Gurindji Ancestors' artworks also continue her artistic mission to keep her ancestral narrative alive and provides a new way of looking back while looking forward.
Her 'Lake Eyre' series beautifully evokes the seemly endless expanse of the glistening salt pan, which is transformed by desert downpours into a thriving oasis.
As well as her individual artistic achievements, Sarrita continues to collaborate with her sister on large scale paintings and public art projects. Sarrita and Tarisse are always investigating other mediums to utilise in order to express their stories and later in 2021 they will debut their first sculptural works.
Being an artist requires generosity of spirit; a willingness to see, hear, and feel. Sarrita's artistic practice is an act of generosity and engagement. She has created a space to share the beauty of her culture and landscape that has transcended boundaries. Her unique artistic voice has resonated with collectors around the world.
Sarrita is energetic, effervescent and visually curious. Despite being a mother of two young children, she maintains a high level of creative output and generates new ideas regularly. She currently lives in her hometown of Darwin, which has been a wellspring of inspiration over the course of her life. We have delighted in Sarrita's artistic evolution and look forward to what the future holds.
Copyright Kate Owen Gallery March 2021